The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in a statement May 26 its fighters had sabotaged Shell Oil’s “major trunk pipeline” at Awoba flow station, and killed 11 soldiers in an ensuing gun battle. Sagir Musa, military spokesman in Nigeria’s Rivers state, dismissed the claims as “mischievous lies… There was no attack on the facility and none of our soldiers were killed.” But a spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Corporation said: “SPDC can confirm an attack on the Nembe Creek trunk line at Awoba,” adding that an overflight had revealed some oil had spilled. “We have mobilised equipment to contain a further spread of oil,” the spokesman said. (Sydney Morning Herald, May 27; AlJazeera, May 26)
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